On September 5th I shared a dream I had of walking out of the wilderness with Jesus. That post was called Out of the Wilderness. It can be found at https://jamielynsinkwellcom.wordpress.com/2019/09/05/out-of-the-wilderness/ Sometimes we all get a little lost on the pathway. Sometimes we lose the pathway altogether. It is my hope that you will hear the voice of God in your ear saying,
“This is the way, walk in it!”
We all get those Facebook memories. They pop up when we log on reminding us of things we hold dear: pictures of our babies who have grown so much it is difficult to imagine where the time went, wedding photographs, birthdays, graduations, and more. But we sometimes get reminders of things we’d rather forget. Sometimes it is insignificant. Things like girl what were you thinking when you wore that outfit. Or the memories may reveal wounds we thought had healed: broken relationships, death, or other loss. And still at other times the words pierce our hearts and are exactly what we need to hear in the moment.
This popped up on my memories today. It is so relevant!
Though the Lord gives you
the bread of adversity
and the water of affliction,
will no longer hide Himself...
Whether you turn to the right
or to the left,
will hear a voice behind you,
“This is the way; walk in it.”
Then you will desecrate your idols...
you will throw them away
like a menstrual cloth
and say to them,
“Away with you!”
This is one of my favorite scriptures! It is a calling to not only hear the voice of God, but to seek revelation and understanding of His voice. And then to follow Him and do what He says. Often He will call us out of places of comfort and into places of discomfort. You may think, being uncomfortable can’t be from God! Oh yeah? Tell that to John the Baptist who lived in the desert and ate locust. Or what about Paul the apostle who suffered beatings and spent years in prison. Or John the Beloved, who was dipped into hot oil, somehow survived, and was then exiled to the Isle of Patmos, a labor camp. Oh, and let’s not forget Jesus, who was beaten to the extent he was unrecognizable and then died an unimaginable death on the cross.
You may have stopped reading by now. But hold on! I’m not saying God called them to be tortured. But He called them to the things that led to that torture. He called them out of comfort and into discomfort.
I pray we, our children or grandchildren, are never required to face torture for our belief in the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Though there are some in the world today who do, in the United States of America we are blessed. We are free. We have more opportunity and more stuff than much of the rest of the world. And we are comfortable.
But this does not change the fact that God challenges us where we are. Even in our comfort, we can lose the path. Everyday life becomes the weeds and overgrowth concealing the way. We drown ourselves in the things which make us feel better but only hide the reality that we are stuck on the path .
Moving forward requires a bit of discomfort, a bit of work on our part. Listen and do. When Isaiah says God will no longer hide himself, he is saying God will no longer be put into a corner.
HE IS REVEALING HIMSELF TO YOU!
And as He does, He will ask some things of you. He will ask you to give up those things in your life you put before Him. And when HIS voice is THE voice you seek, you will toss them aside as dirty, stinky, smelly trash.
Let me give you an example: Recently (like just this week) I heard His voice in my ear. The conversation went something like this. (If you are reading this on your phone, scroll to the right to read the entire text.)
Him: I don't want you to watch the new season of that show.
Me: What!? But I've watched the first four seasons! The new season is going to be extraordinary! I've already read all the books. I love that show.
Him: Do you love it so much you're not willing to give it up for me?
Me: Well, no God. But really! It's just unreasonable!
Me: Okay, but it's not going to be easy.
Him: I never said it would. But if you honor me in obedience you will grow in ways you cannot imagine.
I recently heard a sermon by Brent Sparks of Encounter Church of Groves in which he admonished his congregation “If you can tell me more about the characters of the shows you watch than the people in the Bible, you’re not where you need to be with God.” (Aug 21st Encounter Church Web page). That one statement challenged me and convicted me to my deepest core. It was a word of truth that sliced me like a double edged sword. It is a tough statement. It is a love statement.
I challenge you today. If your path seems unclear, examine the weeds and overgrowth. Cut them away. Listen for HIS voice. Sometimes His silence is merely for a moment as He gives us time to consider His commands. Toss away the idols. Look to HIM! He will make the path clear.